I will start this off by saying that this might be in the wrong forum. If it is, please let me know and I will delete and/or move it to another. I just wanted to put this out there because I am a newer posting member of the forums and after looking through topics through the search and through a Google search with the GWJ site, I haven't seen any discussion or interest in the Alienware X51.
So here is a little something about my experience:
I have recently dipped my toes into the PC gaming community for the first time. I am 26 and just finally getting extra cash flow for the things I want in life for the first time. I have been a console gamer for a long time and just wanted to share/see what people thought around this community about what I finally came up with as my solution for a first gaming PC:
The Alienware X51:
I bought the Alienware X51 after some thought and much debate. I was wanting to get into PC gaming and I listen to a ton of podcasts while I am working (Truck Driver for a small company. Get normal 7-4 hours for the most part and good pay, yay!) and have heard the growing complaints about the waning edge of console gaming. Also with tons of games I have skipped over and the super sales on games at places like Steam, I started to look into my options.
As a guy with responsibilities and a job and a wife at the ripe age of 26, I don't have the most free time and extra money. I have never built a PC before myself, but I have changed RAM and Graphics Cards on pre built machines and tinkered around here and there. Mostly to play WoW or very scalable PC games. I also live in Southern Indiana, and was out of High School and the little bit of college I attended before I realized the internet is awesome and can connect like minded individuals even when you're in a small town and most of your local friends barely play games, let alone on a higher end PC or could help build or troubleshoot one.
So, my options were limited, at least in my mind. And then I started hearing more about this new PC model Alienware had come out with. I started looking into the X51 and trying to get a sense from a source I trusted about if it was good or not. I understand that it is a niche product and not many people are interested in this machine. I found this thread on NeoGaf about a person who told about their experiences with the X51. After reading an actual gamer's thoughts and assessment of the machine, I was super tempted. But I held back to spend around $1,000 for a new PC, especially a prebuilt one from a company bought out by Dell. Also tempting me was being approved for $1,000 credit line to get the PC now and pay for it in chunks. I know, interest and traps and bad financial decisions...Yes, I am aware that I am playing into corporate America's plans. Either way, I could either wait and try to save the money to get a prebuilt tower from a more "reputable" site (I have heard conflicting things about most) or try to build one myself for the first time without a close friend or someone to help me if things go sideways...
After hearing about Tyler Barber's hardships into PC gaming early on this year on Rebel FM and his Twitter (couldn't find a good link about this, but he talked about it on the Rebel FM podcast and his Twitter around Jan-March of this year), I started looking into prebuilt machines and that is right around the time the Alienware X51 came out. Scared that any machine I built even with getting the right equipment and doing a lot of research (which I did early on and looked at NeoGaf threads and Tom's Hardware) might not post and then I would be in the long and scary process of not knowing which piece is bad or if I screwed up somewhere along the lines, I kept a keen eye on the X51. Skip forward to where I pull the trigger finally about a month ago...
And here we are! I am now an owner of an Alienware X51 and have been happy to try out PC gaming and dip my toes into these waters here with everyone at GWJ. I got the 2nd generation of X51's with the Ivy Bridge processor. Got a pretty good deal for the i7 with the GTX 555. I have tinkered with using it as a home theater/console like some of the guys on the Conference Call and Brad and Vinny on the Bombcast have talked about. Being so hot in my front room, haven't really done much in that way though. As for being a smaller and compact PC, it is totally nice and super quiet! I am using the graphics card that came in it and have been running all my games at max. I have yet to start up The Witcher 2, but have heard that the X51 handles it at pretty high settings. As a cheap and easy option for the PC dilettante that isn't very proficient or confident in building their own PC, it is a nice niche product in my book.
Either way, I just wanted to post up something about the X51 and see if there was any interest or if any other GWjers had gotten or were interested in the Alienware X51. Thanks for dealing with my ramblings and hope this piques someone's interest!